Sentences

Drop That That

Using too many ‘thats’ will rob your sentences of their pace and spontaneity. This is especially true for verbs of speech or thought such as say, think, know and so on.

Read or listen this example carefully:

Bolton said that he will make a statement about the share repurchase plan on Monday.

Better:    Bolton said he will make a statement about the share repurchase plan on Monday.

But not all thats are the same. Although some thats sound superfluous, not all thats can be omitted. Thats following verbs such as acknowledge, allege, confirm and so forth, cannot be dropped without sounding  a bit awkward. Headlines could be an exception, though.

Here is a second example:

Correct:      McNeash confirmed that he is not likely to stand in the next general election

Awkward:  McNeash confirmed he is not likely to stand in the next general election

Headline:      McNeash confirms he is not running

Check your thats and drop them whenever possible.